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1999-11-29 - Constitutional Court, n. 216/1999

Workplace · Spain · Conscientious objection · Religious belonging

Conscientious objection to jury duty

Key facts of the case - The plaintiff has applied for legal protection brought on grounds of violation of rights and liberties number 2279/96.
The plaintiff requests to be excluded from the provisional list of candidates to be jurors on the following grounds: 1) breach of Article 16.1 of the Spanish Constitution regarding freedom of ideology; 2) Breach of Articles 30 through 38 of the Constitution; and 3) Breach of Article 14 of the Constitution regarding the principle of equality. The defendant counters that the claim is only admissible on the grounds of the first alleged motive, since conscientious objection to jury duty is not foreseen in the Constitution. Furthermore, it is argued whether being a juror is an inexcusable duty or not.

Main reasoning of the Court - Inadmissibility of the claim based on article 50.1.a of the Spanish Organic Law of the Constitutional Court (LOTC) since it was issued preemptively, prior to any actual breach of the rights invoked. The plaintiff has been short-listed, but has not been yet selected as member of any jury.

Comment - The inadmissibility is based on the preemptive nature of the claim, which has been issued prior to any breach of the alleged rights.